Race Preview: 2018 Waldo 100k Trail Run (Willamette Pass)

It’s almost time for the race many ultramarathoners anticipate all year .. The 2018 Waldo 100k Trail Run on Saturday, August 18th! This race is so popular that participants enter a lottery in February to get into it, so pencil it into your schedule to check out next winter if you are looking for a challenging ultra in 2019.

The 17th annual race course starts 70 miles east of Eugene at Willamette Pass Ski Area at a scenic elevation of 5120’ and will literally climb mountains (with 2 peaks over 7300’) including Fuji, The Twins, and Maiden Peak before looping back around to the ski area. Mostly single track trails out in the middle of nowhere await you, as well as stunning views of Waldo Lake. This race is NOT a beginner-level ultra and it’s been stressed that this race is VERY challenging.

Aid stations will be 4.9 to 7.5 miles apart with the usual food and drinks available. There will also be drop bag service at many of the aid stations, but other than the Waldo Lake road crossing at mile 7.5, crew will only be allowed at the aid stations. Pacers are allowed at Charlton Lake to the finish and are welcome to food and drinks at the aid stations, but they are responsible for their own transportation and will not be tracked.

Finisher hats will go to any participants who finish before 9:00PM. There will be 3 cutoffs: Charton Lake at 1:00PM, Road 4290 at 2:15PM, and The Twins at 4:30PM. 10 minutes before the cutoff times, there will be 2 short blasts on an air horn, and 5 minutes before, there will be 1 short blast. The aid stations will close with 1 long blast on the air horn.

Runners who have NOT completed at least 1 trail 50k or longer race in the last 2 years will not be allowed to participate in the Waldo 100k. There will often be long stretches of the course that aren’t marked with ribbons, though the junctions will be well marked. Check out the “How to Avoid Getting Lost” section of the website as well as the course map and course description.

There’s an outdoor gear prize to the top male and female finishers to have reached the summit of Fuiji Mountain (as they will “Find Waldo” first.). There’s also a “Wet Waldo” prize to the runner who swims in the most lakes and a “Show Us Your Waldo” prize awarded to a person judged to be the best Waldo. The person who wins this prize will get a free race entry for the following year and a hat that must be returned at that time. There is also prize money awarded 3 deep in the open and 1st place in the masters.

There will be post-race food and beer at the lodge starting at 4:00PM and continuing until the last finisher and volunteer come in. Celebrate well, because you will have earned it!!

There is lodging in the area as well as camping if you wish to make a weekend of the race. There are several campgrounds in the area, including 3 at Waldo Lake and 1 at Gold Lake which is about 10 miles into the course. Reserve early, as it will get crowded! Please also plan to bring plenty of DEET for the mosquitoes and warm and dry clothes (cotton is NOT advised in the mountains,) as the weather can be unpredictable and it is likely to get cold at night.

Next year, the race will be on August 17th, 2019, so mark your calendar now!



What: 2018 Waldo 100k Trail Run

When: Saturday, August 18th, 2018. Start time is at 5:00 AM.  Early start is at 3:00 AM for those expecting to run more than 16 hours.

Where: Willamette Pass Ski Area, Oregon Cascades

Register: The lottery was on March 1st and there is no waiting list. Put this race on your radar and apply for the lottery in February 2019! For a list of automatic exceptions and more registration info, click here.

Registration Cost: $155

Packet Pick-Up: At the lodge 8/17 from 4:30PM-9:00PM and race morning beginning at 2:30AM.

About Author

I'm the owner of Healthy Girl Fitness and I'm a personal trainer, certified AFAA group exercise instructor, and an RRCA certified running coach in SW Portland. I am also the mother of two young boys and am on the board at my youngest son's school. I led a relatively inactive life throughout my 20's until I discovered the world of fitness and running. I ran my first marathon in 2006 and haven't looked back since.

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